Fatigue guidelines—managing and reducing the risk of fatigue at sea

Learn how to manage the risk.
4 March 2020

Fatigue can have serious consequences for the safety and health of seafarers, operational safety and the marine environment.

The new guidelines are based on the International Maritime Organization Guidelines on Fatigue (MSC.1/Circ. 1598.) and are aimed at regulated Australian and foreign flagged vessels.

The fatigue guidelines provide information on the causes and consequences of fatigue, and the risks it poses to the safety and health of seafarers, operational safety, security and protection of the marine environment. It will assist all stakeholders to better understand their roles and responsibilities in managing the risk of fatigue.

These guidelines should be considered when:

  • developing, implementing and improving safety management systems under the ISM Code
  • promoting fatigue management
  • promoting awareness of the causes and consequences of fatigue and developing and delivering training programs and courses
  • conducting incident investigations
  • preparing applications for minimum safe manning documents or when determining minimum safe manning levels for ships.

Fatigue can affect all areas of ship and shore-based operations. Just meeting the requirements of the  hours of work and rest (under the STCW Convention) is not enough to manage the risk of fatigue– these guidelines will help determine the other factors that can contribute to fatigue. 


Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Last updated: 3 August 2023